1 in 5 millennials teetotal according to new survey

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

There has been a dramatic decline in the number of young people drinking
There has been a dramatic decline in the number of young people drinking

Related tags Young people Drink Sociology

One in five 16-24 year olds don’t drink any alcohol at all according to a new survey, with two thirds reporting that alcohol was either not very important or not at all important to their social lives.

The latest figures from political think tank Demos mirror those released by the Office of National Statistics earlier this year, which found binge-drinking has fallen by a third.

A significant proportion (41%) thought alcohol was more important to their parent’s social lives than to their own while only 3% said alcohol was ‘essential’ part of socialising.

The report also disputed the claim that the declining number of young drinkers is due to increasing immigration from countries that traditionally don’t drink. Increasing awareness about the health consequences of drinking emerged as the top reason young people are drinking less, followed by being less able to afford alcohol than their parent’s generation and negative media portrayals of drinking.

However, younger consumers are making up for drinking less by leading the boom in eating out according to January’s Peach Report Brand Track, which found over half of 18-35 year olds eat out at least once a week.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls argued that the decline in young drinkers was not a cause for concern for the industry.

“Young people may well be drinking less, but we are seeing them use our venues for different purposes than the youngsters of a decade ago. Our venues are social spaces to interact, socialise and work. New and innovative offers such as free Wi-Fi, all day coffee refills and comfortable areas to mix have seen younger customers using our venues in new and different ways.

“Pubs and bars are, in many cases, different places to the pubs and bars of a decade ago and the businesses in our sector are helping drive this change and providing younger customers with fresh experiences.”

She added: “We are an experiential sector and we are seeing sustained numbers of young people eating out in our venues at least once a week. Online and offline socialising are not mutually exclusive and it is not difficult to find groups of young people simultaneously interacting with social media and socialising face-to-face.”

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